We are used to taking control in one form or another. Control has many faces.
Sometimes control can look like you are giving up control in order for you to control the outcome. Sometimes it looks like forcing the issue against the odds and circumstance. You think that by controlling the situation you will win.
But how do you control your control? Does it really mean that you win?
Are you clear that what you want to control needs controlling in the way that you think it does?
This was brought home to me in a very domestic situation. I was making vegetable juice as I do on a relatively regular basis. I usually have to stop and clean the juicer out so that it does not clog up. This day everything was fine till I got to the swiss chard. I had not created much pulp and thought the chard would be no problem in terms of needing to clean out the juicer.
I was determined to go through all the chard without stopping. This is where it is fascinating. What made me do that? After all, I would have to stop and clean the juicer at some point. However, I arbitrarily decided the swiss chard had to follow my rules. I say arbitrarily as I did not have a conversation or agreement with the swiss chard.
I ploughed head with the chard, determined to have my way. I did not really check the actual situation out. Just focused on what I had decided to do based on unknown factors -even to me.
You can guess the result. By the time all the chard was gone into the juicer there was a large puddle of green liquid by the juicer. This explained the lack of juice in my jar.
As I like to philosophize, I asked myself:
why did I do that? What did I learn?
The interesting thing is that I actually knew at some level it was not going to work. I did not listen to my inner voice because my outer voice was so determined to win.
For me it was a lesson in not forcing my will on situations. The result of insisting against my intuition is something I did not like – as I wanted the good green juice, but sabotaged myself by trying to force my will on the physical realities I was involved in. The juicer won.
It was a lesson yet again of listening to my inner voice and paying attention to how I felt.
When you force issues knowing that part of you does not agree with the process it inevitably results in less than satisfactory results.
When you hear a small voice saying – not a good idea – listen to the voice. Sometimes you do not know logically why it is saying what it is saying, however honor the small voice coming from your intuition that connects with the bigger picture. Sometimes you will not see how it helped to listen but more often than not, my experience is that I can see why the little voice was trying to get my attention. It has always been to my benefit.
2 thoughts on “When forcing issues is to your disadvantage.”
This brings back memories from my youth. Being the eldest of five children, I sometimes became impatient when I was given a task that invoved the three younger brats and didn’t pay attention to the inner voice telling me to slow down and be kind, that if I did that the job would go much smoother and most likely even finish up quicker in the long run. Because I didn’t pay attention the three brats ganged up on me. My bad attitude told me they were stupid inconveniences. However, they were smart enough to see through me and reacted as any younger sibling would. I still ignored that small voice at times when I had my own children. Thankfully, I matured and began to listen better. Certain people in my life, a pastor, a professor and some others taught me about mindfulness and about communication skills so that I never really alienated my beloved children and husband, even when my strong will tried to push through…. most of the time.
Thank you for you comment and insight Kathy. It is interesting to see how many ways it all comes into play in our lives.